To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.

-- Audrey Hepburn

I have always been a gardener.

My earliest memories involve wafting through my mother’s garden; climbing the lilac trees, picking blue forget-me-nots (and the occasional unicorn pink), giving peonies to my ballet teacher. After college, I would landscape every apartment building I lived in just so I could have flowers in the spring. “I must have flowers, always and always,” just like Monet. When my husband and I bought our first house in Chicago, we merged our postage stamp-sized garden with my neighbor’s sublime 30-year-old oasis, and I crammed it full of every flowering thing I could find. “That was amazing!” my husband would exclaim after the tulips would fade. “When is it going to go again?” Growing flowers teaches patience, respect, humility. Nature rewards you with endless beauty if you open your eyes and observe.

 

I have always been an artist.

From making my earliest handheld bouquets (roots and all), to studying ballet with the New York City Ballet, to a glorious eighteen-year career as a theater artist in Chicago, I have always surrounded myself with creativity and beauty.

 

Now, at Farm Couture Flowers, surrounded by the beautiful bounty of my flower farm, I create elegant garden-style florals for weddings and events. Known for my natural style and incorporating unexpected elements from the landscape, my floral designs have that “just picked from the garden” look and feel. There's nothing I enjoy more than strolling through the gardens on the morning of a wedding, picking fresh herbs and miniature blossoms for boutonnieres and bracelets,

or adding an exquisite, elusive flower to the bridal bouquet. 

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

Flower: Lilac

Season: Spring; Just like the earth, I come alive again.

Earliest Flower Memory: the scent of Mock Orange (philadelphus) in my mother’s garden on a warm, June day.

Artist(s): Edgar Degas and Andy Goldsworthy

Color: Green (there are so many different shades!)

Book: Pride and Prejudice

People: My boys

Poet: Mary Oliver; her gentle observations of nature speak to me fiercely

Place: My kitchen on a sunny morning.

Meal: Roast Chicken

My wedding flowers: My sister designed my wedding flowers. I wore a flower crown and carried a small bouquet of pink roses, and the aisle of the Quaker meeting house was strewn with lavender flowers. I floated across a pond in a boat carrying a flower parasol, while our guests rang bells on the shore. We had long farm tables with mismatched china and flowers in antique bottles down the center.